Thursday, June 23, 2011

5 Big Noses

I have been working on a post for weeks on my thoughts of biology and adoption, but it is now like a 1000 words long.  We entered adoption with happy naivety that biological ties did not matter, and in some ways they do not and cannot.  But in other ways even 1000 words cannot cover all of the complexities (trust me, some blogs have posted those 1000 words and more).

Thankfully, so you can be spared from my rambling discourse, my daughter, Sunflower, gave me a perfect illustration of how things that do not matter to me can still matter to my child.  An example of how fitting in with similar physical traits can be an intrinsic desire.

"Boo-hoo-hoo, I don't have a big nose.  You have a big nose.  Daddy has a big nose, but I don't have a big nose.  Boo-hoo-hoo!"  Massive pout and continued half-cry.

"Ummm, when you get bigger, you'll probably have a big nose," I answered while trying not to laugh and not really thinking about whether that was the correct answer.

"Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" with happy clapping and shaking.

For most, and even for Sunflower, this is just a silly little story but it can represent so much more.  It shows the innocent desire of  a child to look like her parents, to match.  Sunflower does "match" and will unfortunately some day inherit one of our big noses.  

I will not be able to answer my adopted child the same way because we will not know.  Maybe her nose will always be small (which seems probable) or not, but not knowing is just one more thing she will have lost in her short life.

It is a loss no matter that small noses are preferred in society, no matter how often we kiss her nose with affection, no matter how beautiful she grows to more loss that adds to the complication of adoption.

(Do I need to go into the corollary of how Sunflower decided big noses were desirable because her parents have them and how easy the same assumption can be made about white skin--especially in a society that reinforces that attitude--no matter what we say and teach?)

1 comment:

Cleo said...

What an extremely reflective post! I bet your 1,000+ word essay is GREAT! A true pleasure to meet you Cedar! Thanks so much for swinging by my blog the other day: always a blessing to meet a Sister-in-Christ! :)